Families staying together LOHPF-style

Lost Our Home Pet Foundation helping families stay together during uncertain economic times.
By Best Friends Animal Society

Lost Our Home Pet Foundation (LOHPF) is a nonprofit organization founded only a couple of years ago, but in this short time, they have made an extraordinary difference for many Phoenix families and their pets. In 2009 alone, the foundation rescued and fostered more than 400 pets!

As part of their mission, LOHPF provides assistance to families so they can keep their pets and stay together when they find themselves in hard times, facing foreclosure/eviction or other financial hardship. This is no easy task in the current tough economic times, but the organization stays focused and committed to their mission.

The art of keeping families together

These are two of the programs offered by the organization to help pets stay with their families.

  • Furry Friends Food Bank: Families struggling to provide for their pets can request assistance in the form of pet food, litter, vet care and other basic necessities. Sometimes, something as simple as this allows a family to keep their furry family members at home.

  • Furry Friends Foster Program: When a family is being forced to move due to foreclosure or eviction, they can find themselves between the proverbial rock and a hard place. On one side, they don't want to permanently surrender their pet, but on the other side, they don't have a place to live where the pet is allowed to stay. In these situations, LOHPT can assist with their temporary foster program. They will find a foster family to care for the pet while the family finds a suitable place to live where the four-legged kids are welcome.

With this extraordinary program, pet parents have peace of mind knowing their pets are safe and not only that, but they whole family can stay in touch. The pet family and the foster parents can arrange for visits, play time and other occasions when the family can spend some quality time with their pet ... it can be an in-house visit, walks around the block, trips to dog park, or visits to the vet.

This program, and the flexibility offered by the foster parents, helps families keep the relationship with their pets strong and close during the time they are separated. Last year, 62 families used the temporary foster program, that's 62 pets that had a safe home away from home, 62 pets that were able to keep their family through the economic challenges, 62 families that stayed togegher, LOHPF-style.

House-size news for 2010

Thanks to the generosity of a local realtor, LOHPF has now a halfway house to provide a transitional residence for pets that have been abandoned or surrendered to the group because their families are unable to keep them. In this house, they can provide about 10 pets with a home and nurturing care while they are evaluated and placed with a foster family. This halfway home is a very recent addition to the foundation, the first of its kind, and it's currently undergoing some repairs and modifications in order to make it more practical and comfortable for its residents.

Who is doing all this work?

Volunteers! LOHPF is an all-volunteer organization. Board members, staff for day-to-day operations, foster families, adoptions, outreach, rescues, halfway house repairs ... it's all powered by a very committed volunteer force.

Given the magnitude of the work being done, volunteers are always welcome, but at this time, LOHPF is looking for volunteers with a very specific set of skills/experience that are able to commit to the organization for the long term. These special positions are key to the future and growth of the group and are not currently listed in their website. They are:

  • Fundraiser chair / fundraiser comittee member
  • Event planning - last year's "Pasta, Poker & Pets Party" is a good example of events organized by the foundation
  • Spay/neuter coordinator.


Do you need help?

If you are in a situation that forces you to move to an apartment, please research local pet friendly housing. Read about the Best Friends' 13 Steps to Finding Pet Friendly Housing.

If you are facing foreclosure/eviction and you need help from LOHPF, get more details on the different options they have available to assist here: //www.lostourhome.org/our-services/.

How you can get involved and help:

  • Keep the food bank in black numbers. Donate a bag of food or litter to the organization, even better, pledge to donate a bag of food and/or litter each month. For drop-off locations, please check the LOHPF website. If you have any questions about donations or you want to donate but are unable to get to any of the drop-off locations, please contact Brenda Stanley at brenda@brendastanley.com.

  • Practice your gardening moves! Join other volunteers this Saturday, July 10 @ the Halfway house for some yard work and good camaraderie. For more details, please contact Jodi Polanski, executive director, at jodi@lostourhome.org.

  • (priority request) Donate other items needed to get the house fully operational: weed killer, gardening tools like shovels and rakes, window AC units, HVAC materials, pooper scoopers, cleaning supplies, flip-it mop, wheelbarrow, misting system, standalone tent/cover for backyard, screens for windows (three screens: 22 ¾ " wide x 45 ½" high and one screen: 10 ¾" wide x 22 ½" high). These items can be new or gently used.

Do you have a place in your home and heart for a new furry friend? Then, visit the list of available pets for adoption. They are currently enjoying LOHPF's hospitality, but they would love to have their forever family pick them up as soon as possible.

Pictures used with permission from Lost Our Home Pet Foundation